Readings for the Memorial of
Nereus and Achilleus

Martyrs
May 12
1st Century

MASS


From the Common of Martyrs: For Several Martyrs during Easter Time
COLLECT
Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, qui gloriosos martyres Nereum et Achilleum fortes in sua confessione cognovimus, pios apud te in nostra intercessione sentiamus.
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who know the great courage
of the glorious Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus
in confessing you,
may experience their loving intercession for us in your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.



FIRST READING          Revelation 7:9-17
I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

"For this reason they stand before God's throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."


RESPONSORIAL PSALM           124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domine.

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us,
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive;
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.


ALLELUIA          Matthew 5:10
Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter iustitiam, quoniam ipsorum regnum caelorum.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.


GOSPEL          Matthew 10:17-22
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved."


Liturgy of the Hours
Nereus and Achilleus

From the Common of Several Martyrs, except the following:

Office of Readings

From a commentary on the psalms by Saint Augustine, Bishop
(Cap. 14, 109-110; Acta Sanctorum Febr.1, 769)


The Sufferings of Christ are Not in Christ Alone

Jesus Christ is one man with head and body, the Savior of the body and the members of the body, two in one flesh, in one voice, in one passion, and, when wickedness has passed away, in one state of rest. The sufferings of Christ are therefore not in Christ alone; yes, but the sufferings of Christ are only in Christ.

If by Christ you mean both head and body, the sufferings of Christ are only in Christ. But if by Christ you mean only the head, then the sufferings of Christ are not in Christ alone. For if the sufferings of Christ are in Christ alone, how can the apostle Paul, as a member of Christ, say this: That I may fill up in my flesh what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ?

If then you are among the members of Christ, whatever human being you are, whoever you are that hears this, whoever you are that does not hear this (but if you are among the members of Christ you do hear this), whatever you suffer at the hands of those who are not among the members of Christ was lacking to the sufferings of Christ.

Your sufferings are added because they were lacking. You fill up a measure, you do not pour something that overflows. You suffer as much as needed to be added from your sufferings to the total suffering of Christ, who suffered as our head, and suffers in his members, that is, in ourselves.

Each one of us in his own measure pays his debt to what may be called this commonwealth of ours. In proportion to our store of strength we contribute as it were a tax of suffering. The final reckoning of all suffering will not take place until the world has come to an end.

Do not then imagine, brethren, that all the just who suffered persecution at the hands of the wicked, even those who were sent to foretell the coming of the Lord before he came, did not belong to the members of Christ. God forbid that one who belongs to the city which has Christ for king should not belong to the members of Christ.

In the blood of Abel, the just one, the whole city speaks, and so on until the blood of Zechariah. From then, it is the same city that goes on speaking in the blood of John, in the blood of the apostles, in the blood of the martyrs, in the blood of Christ’s faithful people.


RESPONSORY          Revelation 21:4; 7:16
The Lord shall wipe away every tear from the eyes of his saints,
and there shall no longer be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain,
- for all that used to be has passed away, alleluia.

They shall never again know hunger or thirst,
nor shall the sun and the dry winds beat down on them.
- For all that used to be has passed away, alleluia.


COLLECT
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who know the great courage
of the glorious Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus
in confessing you,
may experience their loving intercession for us in your presence.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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